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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Oct;26(10):1657-66. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.04.011. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

Degree connectivity in body dysmorphic disorder and relationships with obsessive and compulsive symptoms.

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Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA, USA; Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Department of Psychology, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany.
Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are categorized within the same major diagnostic group and both show regional brain hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the basal ganglia during symptom provocation. While recent studies revealed that degree connectivity of these areas is abnormally high in OCD and positively correlates with symptom severity, no study has investigated degree connectivity in BDD. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the local and distant degree of functional connectivity in all brain areas between 28 unmedicated BDD participants and 28 demographically matched healthy controls during a face-processing task. Correlational analyses tested for associations between degree connectivity and symptom severity assessed by the BDD version of the Yale-Brown obsessive-compulsive scale (BDD-Y-BOCS). Reduced local amygdalar connectivity was found in participants with BDD. No differences in distant connectivity were found. BDD-Y-BOCS scores significantly correlated with the local connectivity of the posterior-lateral OFC, and distant connectivity of the posterior-lateral and post-central OFC, respectively. These findings represent preliminary evidence that individuals with BDD exhibit brain-behavioral associations related to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are highly similar to correlations previously found in OCD, further underscoring their related pathophysiology. This relationship could be further elucidated through investigation of resting-state functional connectivity in BDD, ideally in direct comparison with OCD and other obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.


Amygdala; Body dysmorphic disorder; Connectivity; Obsessive–compulsive disorder; Orbitofrontal cortex

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